B-52s demonstrate bilateral, joint force integration in Indo-Pacific

Two U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress bombers integrated with the Koku-Jieitai, or Japanese Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) fighters and U.S. Navy E/A-18G Growlers over the Sea of Japan, June, 17.

The bombers, currently deployed to Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska from the 2nd Bomb Wing, Barksdale AFB, Louisiana, are supporting Bomber Task Force missions to demonstrate the United States’ unwavering commitment to the security and stability of the Indo-Pacific region.

During this mission, the B-52s conducted long-range escort and intercept training with four JASDF F-2s and 12 F-15s to enhance the readiness and security of the region.

“These strategic bomber missions provide our Airmen with the realistic, long-duration sorties that they require to remain highly proficient and ready to act when called upon to support the collective defense of the United States,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Duff, the 96th Bomb Squadron commander from Barksdale AFB. “Deploying in an expeditionary format challenges our aircrews, maintainers and support personnel in different theaters, further demonstrating the credibility of our forces to be agile and provide long-range global-strike capability, anywhere in the world, and at any time.”

In addition, the bombers conducted integration training with E/A-18G Growlers from Electronic Attack Squadron 209, the “Star Warriors” deployed to Misawa Air Base, Japan.

In line with the National Defense Strategy’s objectives of strategic predictability and operational unpredictability, the U.S. Air Force transitioned its force employment model to enable strategic bombers to operate forward in the Indo-Pacific region from a broader array of overseas and CONUS locations with greater operational resilience.

The BTF missions enable a mix of different types of strategic bombers an opportunity to train alongside allies and partners in a joint environment and to build interoperability to bolster their ability to support a free and open Indo-Pacific.

This latest BTF follows a June 14 mission involving a B-52 integrating with F-22 Raptors and Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 Hornets to conduct intercept training over the Beaufort Sea in support of North American Aerospace Defense Command.

The B-52 has been the backbone of the U.S. strategic bomber force for more than 60 years. It’s capable of dropping or launching the widest array of weapons in the U.S. inventory. The Air Force currently expects to operate B-52s through 2050.

A B-52H Stratofortress deployed from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., taxis down the flightline at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, after conducting a Bomber Task Force mission over the Sea of Japan, June 17, 2020. Bomber Task Force missions help maintain global stability and security while enabling units to become familiar with operations in different regions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lillian Miller)

A B-52H Stratofortress deployed from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., taxis down the flightline at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, after conducting a Bomber Task Force mission over the Sea of Japan, June 17, 2020. Bomber Task Force missions help maintain global stability and security while enabling units to become familiar with operations in different regions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lillian Miller)

A B-52H Stratofortress deployed from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., taxis down the flight line at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, June 16, 2020. This Bomber Task Force brought B-52H Stratofortress bombers and 2nd Bomb Wing Airmen to the Indo-Pacific theater to test their ability to integrate and operate from a forward location. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lillian Miller)

A B-52H Stratofortress deployed from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., taxis down the flightline at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, June 16, 2020. This Bomber Task Force brought B-52H Stratofortress bombers and 2nd Bomb Wing Airmen to the Indo-Pacific theater to test their ability to integrate and operate from a forward location. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lillian Miller)

Capt. Dane McKenzie, 343rd Bomb Squadron electronic warfare officer, collects his equipment from his locker at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, for a Bomber Task Force mission, June 16, 2020. Bomber Task Force missions help maintain global stability and security while enabling units to become familiar with operations in different regions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lillian Miller)

Capt. Dane McKenzie, 343rd Bomb Squadron electronic warfare officer, collects his equipment from his locker at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, for a Bomber Task Force mission, June 16, 2020. Bomber Task Force missions help maintain global stability and security while enabling units to become familiar with operations in different regions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lillian Miller)

Senior Airman Jar'quayla Doss, 96th Aircraft Maintenance Unit electronic countermeasures journeyman, marshalls a B-52H Stratofortress deployed from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska,  June 17, 2020. Bomber Task Force missions provide a persistent bomber presence in the Indo-Pacific theater and around the globe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lillian Miller)

Senior Airman Jar’quayla Doss, 96th Aircraft Maintenance Unit electronic countermeasures journeyman, marshalls a B-52H Stratofortress deployed from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, June 17, 2020. Bomber Task Force missions provide a persistent bomber presence in the Indo-Pacific theater and around the globe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lillian Miller)

A B-52H Stratofortress deployed from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., flies alongside two Japan Air Self-Defense Force F-15s over the Sea of Japan while conducting a Bomber Task Force mission June 16, 2020. Bomber Task Force missions help maintain global stability and security while enabling units to become familiar with operations in different regions. (Courtesy photo)

A B-52H Stratofortress deployed from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., flies alongside two Japan Air Self-Defense Force F-15s over the Sea of Japan while conducting a Bomber Task Force mission June 16, 2020. Bomber Task Force missions help maintain global stability and security while enabling units to become familiar with operations in different regions. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

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